Dow Jones reports that French automotive industry professionals have lashed out at the French government's decision to raise the tax on diesel fuel for private car users.

Dow Jones said that the National Council of Automobile Professionals said the decision to raise the tax by 2.5 euro cents a litre was unjust because it will only be applied to cars and not commercial vehicles.

The move will accelerate the decline in the number of service stations in France, especially in urban areas, it said, and could have an economic impact by slowing sales of new and used cars.

According to Dow Jones, haulage companies have also complained that the tax increase would create cash flow problems for them because truck owners will have to pay the increased tax and get reimbursed.

The report adds that some parliamentarians of the ruling conservative majority are lobbying to get the government to back down on the plan.

In an interview published in newspaper Le Figaro, however, Louis Schweitzer, chairman of Renault, said he didn't believe the decision would affect new cars sales much, as car buyers would continue to be attracted to diesel-engined cars.

However, Schweitzer criticised the suddenness of the move, saying it could give consumers the impression that they've been trapped and cause them to delay purchases.